3rd Oct – launch of The BASTILLE no.4 – the many faces of JESSE at SpokenWord. Other Writers’ Group every Sunday in October at new place – address below.

SpokenWord open mic au Chat Noir every Monday, Open Secret – the open mic at the Bistrot des Artistes – every Wednesday.

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do two open mic nights (SpokenWord every Monday, Open Secret every Wednesday) and a writers’ workshop at Shakespeare & Company (every Sunday.) We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive…………………….. Acoustic songs also welcome.

SpokenWord Sounds
A monthly podcast of SpokenWord Paris, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Every Monday Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up 8pm to 9.30pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. Check out the
Practical info page for more info. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All langues welcome. Entry one euro.

Check next week’s theme here

Open Secret 
Every Wednesday David Leo Sirois hosts his open mic for poetry & song at the Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais, 75005, métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or St Michel (line 4.) Sign up 8.30pm. Themes annnounced by the mailing list and on facebook. Free.

The Other Writers’ Group
Because Shakespeare & Co’s 1st floor will be closed throughout October, the writers’ group will meet at:

2 passage Courtois
75011 Paris
metro Charonne (line 9)
street buzzer: Centre Wild Flower
then in the courtyard
(buzzer opens courtyard door, too)

In 2005 I could only find one anglophone writers’ group in Paris and it was at a time I couldn’t make. So I started this one, the other writers’ group. It’s become an excellent feedback workshop running every Sunday. 6.30pm-8.30pm at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Suggested donation 5 euros. Bring your writing or just come and listen join the discussion. Hosted by me, Bruce Sherfield and other regulars. Description Join us afterwards for a drink. Cheers, David Barnes

Chat Noir sketch drawn by Allison Iwata.

Posted in Blurb | Leave a comment

Launch of The BASTILLE no.4 – the many faces of JESSE

Monday Oct 3rd 7.30pm at SpokenWord


Posted in THE BASTILLE, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A new season has started: Snaps by Sabine Dundure

After the summer break a new season opened: our 10th year, as an urban legend says. Hot it’s still hot, and besides the classical shyness of every September, crowded already. These are just a few moments captured by Sabine Dundure. Happy New Season, old and new Spokenworders!

Posted in SpokenWord report | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open Secret, 2nite! “One who is only a poet is not even that.” With special guest poets Andrew Sweeny & Carla Drysdale!


Open Secret! Open Mic @ Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais, 75005 Paris. At 8:30 all-night sign-up starts, & at 9 the spectacle. Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4).
Andrew Sweeny is a Canadian-born teacher, writer, musician, meditator, amateur philosopher, and poetic adventurer living in Versailles, France. He has spent the last years teaching at several Paris universities, writing and recording songs, scribbling poems, short stories and various unclassifiable literary. experiments. https://medium.com/@andrewpgsweeny
Carla Drysdale’s first full-length collection of poems, Little Venus, was published in 2009 by Tightrope Books in Toronto. Her first chapbook of poems, Inheritance, from Finishing Line Press came out in 2016. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Paris Press’s Spiraling, PRISM, the Literary Review of Canada & others. In 2014 she was awarded PRISM’s Earle Birney poetry prize. She is currently working on a novel. http://www.carladrysdale.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Launch of THE BASTILLE no.4 – the many faces of JESSE

Launch event: 8pm Monday 3rd October at SpokenWord, au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 métro Parmentier/Couronnes

Pre-order copies now by sending 12 euros to paypal associated with the email themag.paris@gmail.com

More info to follow soon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Open Secret, “Calling all troubadours!” Featuring…you! :)


Open Secret! Wednesdays (2nite!) @ Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais in Paris’ “Amor vincit omnia” quarter. At 8:30pm, open mic sign-up lights up like a Roman candle, & at 9pm, art explodes! Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4). Innovations in writing, song, comedy, performance art, theater, & dancing queenery! Join the celebration!

Tonight’s theme is “Calling all troubadours!” (But yes, any & all performers are welcome). What the heck does this Leo clown mean by this shout-out to music types? Lemme take a moment to ask him…OK? OK. Is music the universal language? (Or am I confusing that with math, or with wildly gesticulating with your hands?) Is it older than cave art? Dunno. Maybe drumming is. But music certainly uplifts us, non? Come have some fun!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gowri K to guest at SpokenWord Paris September 19th Monday’s Theme: Human/Humanity

14233850_10208603547061109_1371337584_o-1Gowri K is a Tamil American poet, performing artist, teaching artist, and lawyer whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Sri Lanka. Her advocacy has addressed animal welfare, the environment, the rights of prisoners and the criminally accused in the U.S., and justice and accountability in Sri Lanka. Her publication credits include two peer-reviewed scientific journa articles and poetry appearing in Drunk In A Midnight Choir, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Bourgeon, Lantern Review, and Washington City Paper. She was a member of DC’s 2010 Southern Fried Slam team and has performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (in 2013 and 2010), Capital Fringe Festival, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company events co-sponsored by the Poets and Writers Readings/Workshops programs. At the 2014 Atlas Intersections Festival,she produced and performed in “Yasmeen,” an original work co-written and co-produced by Huda Asfour, a Palestinian composer and musician.
She is a 2016 Kundiman fellow and serves as poetry coordinator at BloomBars, a poetry events host at Busboys and Poets, senior poetry editor at Jaggery: A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal, and co-editor of Beltway Poety Quaterly:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Open Secret, tonight! “Words About Silence” featuring brilliant poet Raluca Petrescu!


Open Secret! Wednesdays @ Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais (a secret passage that Tinder-dates both Boulevard Saint Germain & rue Lagrange – look for the Franprix-in-the-alley) 75005 Paris. 8:30 open mic sign-up buds, & at 9pm it blooms crazily as angel-headed sunflowers! Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4). Innovations in writing, song, comedy, performance art, theater, & dance, eeeeeven – strut yer proverbial stuff!

Our theme this week, inspired by our featured poet Raluca Petrescu’s fine, poignant, & masterful work, is “Words About Silence.” Her words acknowledge the presence of great poets of the past, from the classics to the moderns to more contemporary verse, but she creates a world of her own. Thought-provoking & inventive, she recites with the strong emphasis of an actor…with the driving force of sincere self-revelation, as well as honoring the power of silence. This is an event that if you miss, you may grow raaather sad about dat😦 so come on over to Le Bistrot des Artistes for our warm weekly gathering!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rethabile Masilo to Guest at SpokenWord Paris September 12th Monday’s Theme–Lessons

14256570_10208603548021133_1764652225_nRethabile Masilo blogs at Poéfrika and co-edits Canopic Jar. He is a Mosotho poet from Lesotho and has lived in Paris, France, since 1987. His work has been published in various anthologies as well as hard and soft-copy magazines, including Canopic Jar, The Bastille, With Our Eyes Wide Open, Seeing the Unseen, Tears In The Fence, New Coin, Botsotso, Badilisha Poetry, and others. In 2014 his poem ‘Swimming’, published in New Coin Poetry, Vol 49, N°1, won the Dalro First Prize. The same poem won the Thomas Pringle Award for Poetry in Periodicals in 2015.  

Rethabile was born in 1961 in Lesotho and left his country with his parents and siblings to enter exile in 1981, following an attack on his family that killed his 3-year-old nephew, Motlatsi. They moved through the Republic of South Africa, where they experienced Apartheid, then left for Kenya, to the United States of America, before he finally settled in France.

In 2012 his first book of poems, Things That Are Silent, was published by Pindrop Press. The second book, Waslap, was published in 2015 by The Onslaught Press. And the third, Letter to Country, by Canopic Publishing in 2016.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Open Secret, 2nite: “I always wanted to be famous, mommy!” With musical duo Stanley Forbes/Tony Wrafter, plus radical comedian Regi Barris!


Open Secret! Wednesdays @ Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais, in Paris’ 5th hood. ;) 8:30 open mic sign-up rustles “frou-frou” in the branches (envoy a texto to Rimbaud about dat sexy word) & at 9pm it promises gold & green forests! Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4). Your own personal lab for experiments in writing, song, comedy, performance art, theater, & yes, as Rumi wrote, “Dance is silent poetry.” Sheikh yer booty! Dare to live wildly & love truly madly deeply! Our theme: “I always wanted to be famous, mommy!” Featuring musical duo Stanley Forbes (vocal/guitar) & Tony Wrafter (saxophone)…as well as controversial, crazyfunny comedian Regi Barris!


Stanley Forbes, erstwhile curator of the Anti-Sobriety Variety Show, performs songs of death, light, love, and weapons, accompanied by legendary Bristol saxophonist Tony Wrafter.

Reginald Barris is a biracial, American stand-up comedian living in Vienna, Austria. His unique cultural perspective gives him an interesting take on race and a strong distaste for traditions and conventionality. His twisted sense of humor often dances on the line between acceptable and depraved, but the absurd logic behind his statements is enough to leave you in stitches!

See you 2nite at our infamous Wednesday soirée!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jonathan Schiffman to guest at SpokenWord Paris September 5th Monday’s Theme: Wit/Humor

14182345_10155106137304045_769042906_nJonathan Schiffman has established himself as a tolerated presence on the Paris SW stage. Originally from New York City, Jonathan received degrees from Yale and Juilliard, then came to France on a Fulbright Scholarship to study music, wine, psychedelic drugs and plenty of other shit. After his fellowship money ran out (much of it squandered on a single overpriced meal in the 16th arr.), Jonathan served as an assistant conductor to the Orchestre National de France and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Then Jonathan served as Music and Artistic Director of the Orchestra of Avignon where for three seasons he subjected his ever-dwindling public to a strict musical diet of Hindemith, Schoenberg and Philip Glass. After his unexpected firing, Jonathan pursued a freelance conducting career while devoting the remaining 95% of his time to the writing of a novel, or, more precisely, to the mental preparation necessary to one day sit down and write a novel. This novel will possibly be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the fall of 2017. Since 2014, Jonathan has been thrice elected to the SWIC (Spoken Word International Council), a governing body which formulates the rules and guidelines for all official Spoken Word chains and franchises. In addition, Jonathan is the co-founder of SW3 (recently defunct) and SW4 (moribund)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment